Ahead of Tullamore, ministers hail importance of agricultural shows

THE role of agricultural shows has been praised by Government ministers north and south, Brendan Smith and Michelle Gildernew.

Mr Smith will officially open Tullamore Show on Sunday while Ms Gildernew has completed her tour of shows in the North for this year.

Speaking at the recent press launch of the 63rd annual Tullow Show due to be held in Co Carlow on August 15, Mr Smith praised the hard work and commitment of all involved in organising the event.

He said agricultural shows like Tullow play an important role in the social calendar of farmers and their families.

But in recent years they have modified their focus to attract the diverse cross-section of people now living in rural Ireland.

“They are an important community event which help to draw together both urban and rural people which is vital I believe for the times we are living in,” he said.

Ms Gildernew, speaking during a visit to the 104th Antrim Show, said such events are a great opportunity to celebrate our roots in agriculture and catch up on the latest trends in agriculture and rural business.

“During my visit to each of the shows, I have been struck by the commitment and pride of the livestock exhibitors and the exceptional amount of work they put into getting animals ready.

“Their dedication is mirrored in the enthusiasm of the show organisers and the many people who work behind the scenes, devoting many hours of their time voluntarily to build a great family day out and I commend each and every one of them,” she said.

Since 2007, the minister has visited 16 shows in the North as well as the ploughing championships, north and south.

Meanwhile, preparations for Sunday’s show in Tullamore are being completed at the 250 acre Butterfield Estate site, which will accommodate an anticipated 50,000 visitors.

Entries this year will be the highest on record and all 650 trade stands are fully booked out. There will be 1,500 competitors who will compete for €160,000 prize fund.

The event, which incorporates the AIB National Livestock Show, is the highlight of the Irish farming world.

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